On his third album, Strong Feelings, Canadian roots singer/songwriter Doug Paisley hunkers down into the classic, handsome sounds of the '70s but part of his appeal is not only how his songs conjure a classic feel, but how his his recording does, too. Arguably, Strong Feelings is the strongest evidence of Paisley's skills as a craftsman, both as a writer and record-maker. He has a warm, husky voice and can construct sturdy, handsome songs, but the appeal of Strong Feelings is its ease, how the concise ten-song album feels fresh and familiar, its comfortableness not seeming easy but rather a smooth way to introduce his view. At times, Paisley seems a little beholden to tradition — he prefers tastefully burnished settings to an un-sanded, spiky mess — but he still has enough panache to give this a bit of resonance and that's what makes this record, which feels as if everybody involved wishes it was recorded in a cabin in 1975, rather charming.
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Arborea is a musical duo from Maine, formed in the summer of 2005 by Shanti Curran and Buck Curran. Since 2007 they've toured extensively throughout the US, UK, and Europe, released several full length albums including their latest Red Planet which made Rolling Stone 'Best Under-the-Radar Albums of 2011', Top Vinyl Pick in Mojo, Portland Phoen...ix Top Ten Albums of 2011, Uncut Magazine's Top 100 Albums of 2011, and Editors Top Pick in Guitar Player Magazine. Arborea has also curated two various artists compilations: 'We Are All One, In The Sun': A Tribute to Robbie Basho and 'Leaves of Life' to benefit the UN World Food Program. NPR's Bob Boilen, Host of All Songs Considered, recently described their music…”I discovered Arborea amid a sea of 1,300 songs that I heard in preparation for South by Southwest. The music stood out for its calm beauty, its rough edges, and the duo's ability to speak eloquently of life's precious moments, about the sea, and about wonder. I first heard the duo perform at St. David's Bethel Hall in Austin during this year's South by Southwest music festival. That gorgeous church was the best imaginable place to hear this music, short of a visit to the couple's cabin in the western mountains of Maine. It's always special to hear musicians play to the space they're in. The Currans are not only superb players, and Shanti Curran a lovely singer, but, as this Tiny Desk Concert indicates, they're equally good listeners — always in tune with their surroundings."